Is brainstorming actually effective?20 Apr 2015
When business issues present themselves in the workplace, they can’t be shied away from. Letting any troubles escalate will only make them harder to solve further down the line. To that end, creative problem solving should be a weapon in the arsenal of every leader.
Getting all of the affected parties together can soon see any complications corrected, if it’s done effectively. Brainstorming is often relied upon, but is it really the be-all and end-all in eliminating issues? There’s no denying that it can help, but here are the guidelines leaders should follow if they want to get it done productively:
Break the norm
Any brainstorming session can be ineffective if those involved are inhibited by a fear of voicing an unpopular opinion – even if it may be the key to solving the problem.
Research from the Creative Problem Solving Group explains that the majority of people involved in a brainstorm will often find an agreeable solution for the sake of it, rather than one that’s likely to be best for the business.
If you are the leader of any such session, make it clear that you’re looking for the most effective solution to any issue, regardless of whether it breaks the norm.
Brainstorms may be collaborative by their very nature, but as Forbes contributor Susan Adams points out, they can often descend into a number of individual ideas rather than one coherent plan.
It is important to allow all involved to think on their own. However, the job of the leader in such a situation is to ensure that the end solution is as collaborative as possible, ultimately offering a more thorough way to solve the problem.
Build a creative climate
Using brainstorms will ideally find a solution to the issue at hand and get any outcomes implemented more quickly. This shouldn’t be a one-time deal.
The best leaders will use each and every session to enable a more thoughtful and open workplace, steadily building creative problem solving into their own skill sets as well as their companies’ cultures.